Department of Language and Literature

The Department of Language and Literature offers a number of academic paths for intellectual discovery and future success in the fields of literary, linguistic, pedagogical, and rhetorical endeavor. The faculty in the Department of Language and Literature is committed to exploring the inextricable links that exist between language, literature, and rhetoric in the contexts most relevant to students, and they work closely with their majors to offer courses that deliver a rigorous and purposeful learning experience.  The Department offers six curricular concentrations for students to choose from:

In addition, the Department offers all students the opportunity to pursue an English minor, a Writing minor, or a Spanish minor if they so choose. 

When students engage in the study of language and literature, they encounter the very expression of human experience and humane values and gain insights into what it means to be a citizen of the world.  Throughout their undergraduate career, our students learn about the significant cultural, historical, political, and sociological forces that drive the creation and evolution of language and literature over time; indeed, they come to understand language and literature as products of the society that creates them rather than a monolithic expression of the individual.  In essence, the Department of Language and Literature provides its majors with the tools needed to succeed in a world in which information proliferates endlessly, a world in which knowing how to interpret and evaluate the words, images, and texts that abound will help them to navigate the society in which they live.

Faculty

S. Ambrose, Chair; A. Stolley, Writing Program Director; A. Bonadonna, English Education Coordinator;  N. Boyer;  J. Gutowski; N. Hathcock; K. Kaiser Lee; A. Karim; G. Rossetti; M. Tegan.

English and English Secondary Education

English is more than a language. It is both a way of thinking about the world and a world in itself, a place where the imagination and intellect combine to teach us about the most important subject of all: ourselves as human beings.  English is of course a language, but it is also the words, the thoughts, and the stories that for centuries have given insight into what it means to be human.

Over the years, English has been a route to rewarding careers in business, publishing, education, and government. The reason for this success is simple: employers have come to realize that English majors have been taught to be innovative, articulate critical thinkers. They also realize that as society continues to grow more technical and complex, key personnel will be needed to help people communicate with each other. As long as we depend upon language to make ourselves understood and to get things done, the English major will always be practical.

The English major also leads to a wide variety of professional graduate programs. Master's and doctoral programs in English accept students who want to prepare for college teaching and research. Historically, law schools have drawn their students from both political science and English. MBA programs and medical schools have also begun turning to majors from the liberal arts, such as English, for students. The English major at Saint Xavier University is flexible enough to allow for the addition of those basic courses in business or science needed for admission into professional programs.

English majors at Saint Xavier University have the opportunity to choose one of two concentrations: Global Literatures or Rhetoric and Writing. These concentrations allow students to customize their education and take classes aligned with their scholarly interests and professional goals. The department also offers a degree in English Secondary Education for those students wishing to pursue a career in education.

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, has a chapter on campus, Alpha Epsilon Xi. The chapter, moderated by a faculty member, sponsors literary activities and, by encouraging student participation in regional and national conferences, promotes literary research and creativity among its members.

English Major Learning Outcomes

Students who complete degree requirements for either concentration within the English major will be able to:

  1. Read complex texts critically and actively to articulate their own interpretations of the texts’ meanings and perspectives.
  2. Write effectively in a variety of genres for a variety of professional, academic, and social purposes and audiences.
  3. Identify how formal elements of language and genre shape meaning.
  4. Analyze texts in relation to their historical and social contexts.
  5. Integrate literary, rhetorical, and cultural theories into their own reading and writing.
  6. Incorporate primary and secondary research materials to support their written arguments.
  7. Synthesize knowledge and skills gained through coursework into a culminating capstone project

Course-Level English Major Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully progress through either concentration within the Department of Language and Literature will be able to do the following at the completion of each level:

200-Level

  1. Read complex texts critically and actively to articulate their own interpretations of the texts’ meanings and perspectives.
  2. Write effectively in a variety of genres for a variety of professional, academic, and social purposes and audiences.

300-Level

  1. Identify how formal elements of language and genre shape meaning.
  2. Analyze texts in relation to their historical and social contexts.
  3. Integrate literary, rhetorical, and cultural theories into their own reading and writing.
  4. Incorporate primary and secondary research materials to support their written arguments.

Capstone Project/Experience

  1. Synthesize knowledge and skills gained through coursework into a culminating capstone project, meeting departmental and concentration-specific learning outcomes.

Concentration-Specific English Major Learning Outcomes

In addition to the departmental and course-level learning outcomes, students who successfully complete a departmental concentration will achieve the following learning outcomes: 

Global Literatures

Students who complete a concentration in Global Literatures will be able to:

  1. Identify the major traditions of literature and analyze texts using critical and theoretical models appropriate to those traditions.
  2. Identify the differences stemming from class, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and gender as expressed in a variety of texts.
  3. Discuss, interpret and contextualize implicit or explicit values contained in literary texts.
  4. Articulate the value of literary texts as cultural artifacts that provide insight into culture and identity. 

Rhetoric and Writing

Students who complete a concentration in Rhetoric and Writing will be able to:

  1. Identify and employ rhetorical strategies (i.e., invention, arrangement, and style) to analyze and compose texts.
  2. Produce effective written, visual and multimedia texts that are responsive to different purposes and audiences.
  3. Identify and respond to the influences of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, gender and other identity markers on literacy practices.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical responsibilities inherent in the act of reading and writing texts.

Requirements for the English Major (36 credit hours)

All English majors must complete a common set of core requirements (12 hours) and one of the concentration options (24 hours): Global Literatures or Writing and Rhetoric. All majors must complete, with grades of C or better, 36 credit hours as described below. One three credit literature course may count toward the University’s General Education requirement in literature/fine arts. No course may be used to satisfy more than one requirement within the major.

Core Requirements for all English majors (12 credits total)

Global Literatures Concentration Requirements (24 credits total)

200-level Requirements (6 credits total)

One British or American Literature elective (or combination) (3)

One World Literature elective (3)

300-level Requirements (18 credits total)

One British or American Literature elective (or combination) (3)

One World Literature elective (3)

ENGL 340: Critical Theory (3)

Three electives at the 300-level that each fulfill one or two of the following distinctions: British, World, American, Rhetoric, Theory. (One class at the 200-level may be accepted) (9)

Rhetoric and Writing Concentration Requirements (24 credit hours)

200-level Requirements (9 credit hours)

One British, American or World Literature Elective (or combination) (3)

ENGL 224: Professional Writing and Communication (3)

ENGL 241: Language and Linguistics (3)

300-level Requirements (15 credit hours)

One Rhetoric Elective (3)

ENGL 353: Writing and Editing Process (3)

ENGL 352: Writing in Digital Environments (3)

ENGL 359: Rhetoric, Writing, and Society (3)

ENGL/SPAN 351: Linguistics (3) 

Senior Capstone

Regardless of whether students are in the Global Literature or the Rhetoric and Writing concentrations, they will register for ENGL 395: Senior Capstone. Students will be assigned a faculty mentor appropriate to their area of study. Once the roster for the class is solidified, the department faculty will create student Learning Communities [or peer work groups] from the list of students registered for the course.

Requirements for the English Education Major (39 credits total)

English education majors seeking certification must be admitted to the School of Education, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and complete all English education major courses, all general education courses and all professional education courses with a minimum grade of "C." Students need a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the major at the time they apply for student teaching. This program provides a strong foundation in English language arts and focuses on the preparation of teachers according to CAEP/NCTE and Illinois Content Standards for Educators. Candidates must successfully complete state certification requirements and procedures. It is the responsibility of the student to ascertain and fulfill the requirements for the degree program. The major advisor will assist the student in this responsibility.

All majors must complete, with grades of C or better, 39 credit hours. No course may be used to satisfy more than one requirement within the major.

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

200-Level Concentration Courses (9 credit hours)

One British or American Literature elective (or combination) (3)

One World Literature elective (3)

ENGL 241: Introduction to Language and Linguistics (3)

300-Level Courses (18 credit hours)

Two literature electives (British, American, World, or combination) (6) 

One elective (British, American, World, Rhetoric, Theory, or combination) (3) 

ENGL 344: Young Adult Literature (3)

ENGL 356: Teaching Writing and Language (3) 

ENGL 371:Teaching Reading and Literature (3)

Senior Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)

ENGL 373: Methods of Teaching English in Middle and Secondary Schools (3)

The capstone nature of ENGL 373 is defined by:

Requirements for the English Minor (18 credit hours)

All English minors must complete, with grades of C or above, ENGL 207, The Study of Literature (3 credit hours) and an additional 15 credit hours of ENGL courses numbered 154-399.

English minors should meet with the department chair as soon as possible to plan their minor, which can include a concentration in some aspect of English studies, such as literary genres, American or British literature, a historical approach to literature, multicultural literature, cultural studies, or language.

Students preparing to teach English should take ENGL 356, ENGL 371 and ENGL 373. They should also consult with the English education coordinator for further recommendations.

Requirements for the Writing Minor (18 credit hours)

All writing minors must complete these courses with grades of C or above. ENGL 220 Advanced Writing is the required course for the minor, along with an additional 15 credit- hours from the following list of electives, with no more than 6 credit hours coming from the Department of Communication.

This list of electives may be updated as new courses are developed and submitted to the Department of Language and Literature for inclusion in the minor. Additional courses not listed here might be eligible to be applied to the minor at the discretion of the Director of the Writing Program and Department Chair, so please contact them with questions.

Foreign Languages

The foreign languages program offers a major and a minor in Spanish, as well as specific courses geared to meet the needs of students in other departments. The foreign language curriculum covers the three main areas of language -- skills development, literature, and history and civilization. All courses are open to qualified students seeking meaningful contact with another culture by acquiring skills in oral and written communication in the foreign language, by studying the history and civilization of another country, or through a comparative approach.

Current emphasis on the international dimension of the college experience makes foreign language study particularly relevant and useful because it not only helps students achieve a truly liberal education, but also enhances their preparation to function in today's world. Knowledge of a foreign language is an essential component of both the international business program (see business) and the international studies program (see history and political science).

Graduates of Saint Xavier University find that the programs in foreign languages offer sound preparation for graduate and professional schools and for rewarding careers in fields such as teaching, business, government and community relations.

*All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted

Faculty

O. Vilella (on sabbatical); A. Gatti (on leave); F. Marolda; M. Barros, Acting Program Director; A. Mead.

Admission to the Spanish Major

  1. End of sophomore year or junior status.
  2. 2.0 minimum cumulative grade-point average.
  3. 2.5 minimum grade-point average in Spanish for those intending to teach.
  4. Or consent of departmental faculty.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may apply for admission to the department after:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours at Saint Xavier University.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 6 credit hours in the Foreign Languages Program (these may be included in the 12 credit hours above).
  3. Or consent of departmental faculty.

Requirements for a Major in Spanish

Students wishing to major in Spanish at Saint Xavier University have two options, both of which begin at the 200-level:

Option I: Spanish Language, Literature and Civilization (33-36 credit hours)

The program of a major in Spanish includes a minimum of 33-36 credit hours in Spanish beginning at any 200-level course. It is designed to provide a solid foundation in Spanish language, literature and civilization.

Required Courses (12 credit hours)

Spanish Electives (21-24 credit hours)

Choose 24 credit hours, 21 credit hours if studying abroad, from the following*:                

*Courses from other departments might be approved to fulfill the culture and civilization section of the major. Sample courses for this section are: Latino Studies 101: Introduction to Latino Studies; Art 222: Art of the Renaissance through the Enlightenment; Political Science 225: Latin American Politics; History 240: History of Latin America; Sociology 250: Modern Latin America.

Option II: Spanish in the Professions (42-45 credit hours)

This option is intended primarily for those students who plan to make use of the Spanish language in a professional environment other than teaching.

Required Courses (12 credit hours)

Spanish Electives (12-15 credit hours)

Choose 15 credit hours, 12 credit hours if studying abroad, from the following*:               

*Courses from other departments might be approved to fulfill the culture and civilization section of the major. Sample courses for this section are: Latino Studies 101: Introduction to Latino Studies; Art 222: Art of the Renaissance through the Enlightenment; Political Science 225: Latin American Politics; History 240: History of Latin America; Sociology 250: Modern Latin America.

Other Discipline (21 credit hours)

Twenty-one required hours in another area related to the career objectives of each student. Courses can be double-counted as part of another major. These courses are determined on an individual basis by consultation with departmental faculty before completion of the major. 

Spanish Education Program

Spanish students who are seeking teaching certification must be admitted to the School of Education, complete all requirements for Option I: Spanish Language, Literature and Civilization, all general education courses and all professional education courses with a minimum grade of C and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50.

Option I provides a strong foundation in Spanish and focuses on the preparation of teachers according to NCATE/ACTFL and Illinois Content Standards for Educators. Candidates must successfully complete state certification requirements and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test. Consult the School of Education section of the catalog for specific requirements and procedures. Beginning in Fall, 2010, students need a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the major at the time they apply for student teaching. It is the responsibility of each student to ascertain and fulfill the requirements for the degree program. The major advisor will assist the student in this area.

Minor in Spanish (18 credit hours)

Completion, with the grade of C or above, of 18 credit hours in the foreign language beginning at the intermediate level I (103). No more than 3 credit hours of foreign language courses taught in English. 

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